*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                   Switching to LowFat Vegetarian Eating
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 1.  Get a good Vegetarian cookbook.  One with lots of recipes, 
 but also other information on the elements and rationale for a vegetarian diet, 
 that can be used as a reference book on your new cooking style.
 Our favorites are Dean Ornish’s “Program for reversing Heart Disease”, 
 and The New Laurel’s Kitchen“ by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flanders, 
 and Brian Ruppenthal.
 2.  Get a ”Cooking program“ for your PC.  We got MasterCook II for Windows, 
 but there are a number of them out there.    A popular program for DOS machines 
 is MealMaster.  It is shareware, and is very widely used.  These programs 
 give you a convenient place to record new recipes that work for you, and 
 to add your own low-fat adaptations to old favorites.
 3.  Do weekly meal planning.  Since the cooking is more involved than we 
 were doing previously, and the ingredients are more varied, 
 this is required to make the week go smoothly.
 We try to involve the whole family.  On Friday nights we look 
 at cookbooks, recipes, and MasterCook II to try to plan out a week of 
 meals.  Once that is done, on Saturday morning, we do the food shopping.
 Then the rest of the week is simply executing the plan.
 4.  Prepare meals together.  We have found that our new cooking style is a bit 
 more work than it was before.  Working together on chopping vegetables, 
 measureing rice, etc. spreads the work, gives us a bit more time together 
 each day, and involves everyone with the meal, which somehow seems to enhance 
 the dining experience.
 5.  Get some regular input of new information on vegetarianism and/or 
 low fat eating.  We subscribed to the Internet newsgroup 
 alt.food.fat-free on our PC.  You could also subscribe to a vegetarian 
 magizine.  Keeps new ideas coming in.
 This has been the most difficult part of becomming a VLF Vegetarian, 
 and I doubt it will ever get easy.   
 Except for the occasional ”enlightened“ restaurant (like those in some 
 Hyatt Hotels), most do not offer much for those who insist on eating a 
 Very Low Fat Vegetarian diet.  At many restaurants,  finding a suitable 
 meal can be like a survival excercise, requiring ”foraging“ through the 
 menu.  You may not be able to find an interesting meal, and may not be 
 able to stick to ”fat-free“ items, but can usually fill yourself without 
 seriously compromising your diet.
 1)  Assemble a meal from appetizers and side dishes. The following are 
 usually available at most ”meat palaces“
 Salad Bar (and fat-free dressing if you are lucky)
 Baked Potato (fat-free salad dressing tastes great on these, too).
 Vegetable of the day (yes, its usually overcooked, but at least in water).
 Fruit Plate (usually WONDERFUL after an otherwise boring meal).
 Bread (not all bread is fat-free, but most normal bread is low-fat).
 2) Check out Ethnic Restaurants.  Most cultures have lower fat diets than 
 the typical American diet.  Pasta with Marinara sauce is usually pretty 
 safe.  One of the best low-fat menu’s I ever saw was at an Ethiopian
 3) Ask for modifications in the menu.  (This is only feasable at restaurants 
 that don't mass-produce their meals).  Many restaurants have low-fat menus, 
 and all you have to do to the dish to make it VeryLowFat is have them hold the 
 meat.  Ask for stir fry in broth or wine (or at least in half the oil).  
 I hear if you can call ahead a couple of days, restaurants will often 
 invent VLF dishes (I wouldnt know, as we haven't tried that).
 1) Make LOTS of food.  Most recipes we have found make 4, 6, or 8 servings.  
 But there are only two or three of us at each meal.  We make it all anyway.  
 These recipes are typically so low calorie that you can eat several helpings 
 without worry  (Although you should watch out for fat or colesterol intake 
 getting too high for multiple helpings of recipes using tofu, or low-fat dairy 
 products).  And leftovers make good low-fat lunches.
 2) Have lots of Fresh Fruit around.  Its a great fat-free snack, and 
 satisfying (if you will just wait a little while after eating it, for your 
 blood sugar to adjust).
 3) Don't overuse FatFree Junk Food (like FatFree Cakes, FatFree Pretzels, 
 or FatFree chips, FatFree Ice Cream, and (worse) FatFree Margarine).  
 Just like regular junk food, they contribute no real nutrition.  
 AND they are significantly less satisfying then their fat-full counterparts.  
 Many get their ”FAT FREE" rating by keeping their fat content just below 
 the legal limit for a smallish portion, so multiple portions CAN contribute 
 significant fat.
  Just keep these for a treat now and then, and eat along with other foods 
 that DO supply nutrition.   
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